HOUSTON — KHOU 11 News got an exclusive interview with a woman who was shot in the head the same night TakeOff was killed.
Sydney Leday is 24 years old and said it’s a miracle she’s alive. She said it's hard for her to talk about what happened that night. It took her months to be ready to tell her story. On Wednesday, she talked about the shooting and her recovery journey.
Night of the shooting
The shooting happened on Nov. 1, but the party started the night before for Leday. She turned 24 two days prior and was out with friends celebrating the personal milestone as well as Halloween.
"Like any other 24-year-old, I was just out partying and celebrating," she said.
Leday lived in Los Angeles, so being around celebrities wasn't anything new. That's why when she showed up at the private party around midnight and saw Migos rappers TakeOff and Quavo, she wasn't star-struck.
She said she was dressed up as a nun, enjoying her night.
"I really never dress up for Halloween and that was something I was excited about," she said.
She said everyone was just hanging out and it was pretty normal -- until it wasn't.
Toward the end of the event, around 2:30 a.m., she said she could sense something was wrong. She said she saw Quavo get upset during a dice game. At first, she thought it was just friendly banter but quickly realized something was about to go down.
"That’s when I knew something was wrong," she said.
She said the argument between the people playing dice escalated quickly and she started to run. That's when shots were fired outside the 810 Billiards and Bowling Alley.
Leday said she fell to the ground and felt a stinging sensation in the back of her head. She said she somehow made it down an escalator and to a friend's car, who took her to the hospital.
Fortunately, they were only 12 minutes away from Memorial Hermann Hospital.
Below is an extended interview with Sydney. You can also see it on KHOU 11+ on Roku and FireTV.
A week in the hospital
She's a survivor.
Leday was in a coma and intubated before she woke up.
She said she remembers when she first woke up in the hospital. Her family was around her and all she could think about was going home.
"I was in the hospital for about a week. I didn't really want to be there," she said.
She said she's thankful to be alive after the terrifying ordeal that almost cost her life.
"I really just can say I'm grateful to be here," she said.
Leday remembers everything that happened, down to the detail of calling her mom on the way to the hospital that night. She said she made that call just before she had a seizure.
"I remember what happened because I was up the whole time after I got shot in the head and I called my mom and told her what happened and told her to come (to the hospital)," she said.
Leday said she understood the extent of her injuries due to the stinging in the back of her head. Thankfully, she made a miraculous recovery and went home after spending about a week in the hospital.
When Leday went home, that's when she said the "real stuff started." She had a panic attack as soon as she got there and she said she didn't have an appetite.
She didn't even realize anyone else, including TakeOff, was shot that night at the bowling alley. Leday said she replays the night in her head and feels terrible that other people were injured.
Born and raised in Houston, the community she was brought up in is now rallying around her recovery. They're raising money to help pay for her medical bills.